Summer Reading is a series on what each Philadelphia Seventy-Sixer needs to do this off season in order to bring the Sixers back to the playoffs in ‘07–08. Each member of the Sixers will get a reading list, we’ll start with Bobby Jones, and end with Andre Iguodala (Least minutes per game to most).
Vital stats: 40.3 minutes/game, 45% from the floor, 31% from three, 82% from the line, 5.7 reb/game, 5.7 assts/game, 2.0 steals/game, 0.4 blocks/game, 18.2 points/game.
Suggested reading: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John C. Maxwell, Superstar by Victoria Gotti, The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry.
Extra credit: Looking Back and Stepping Forward by Bill McKee and Rebecca Hayes
Suggested viewing: The Big Lebowski.
The Rub: When Allen Iverson and Chris Webber left Philadelphia all hope seemed lost. No one knew who was going to shoulder the load for the Sixers. Andre Iguodala had shown signs of being a productive offensive player, but he never asserted himself. That all changed very quickly. Iguodala assumed the leadership role, took all the big shots, and upped his numbers across the board. I guess all he needed was the opportunity.
Iguodala averaged a little over 13 shots per game this year, up from 8.4 the year before. I expect that number to settle somewhere around 15, and his ppg should wind up north of 20. His assist numbers should go up as well, if you assume the Sixers will add a better offensive option or two through the draft. The only nagging feeling I have about Andre is what happens if a dominant scorer lands in Philly? What if they draft Yi, will Andre go back to deferring on offense? I don’t think so. This is his team now, he has to realize that and Mo Cheeks has to be pounding that into his head.
For Iguodala to take this team to the promised land, and cement himself as a true superstar in this league, he needs to continue to work on his jump shot. It was vastly improved this past year, but he needs to extend his range to the three point line. 31% from three just isn’t going to cut it. If he can become a deadly outside shooter, which is attainable, he will be virtually impossible to guard. If teams try to double him, like they did on occasion last season, he’ll pick them apart with his passing.
Andre set his mind to becoming better from the line last Summer. His hard work translated into an 82% mark from the charity stripe. Hard work and results. Expect him to be much improved when he takes the floor, and expect him to lead the Sixers back to the playoffs.